Matt James made headlines last year after becoming “The Bachelor‘s” franchise’s first Black lead contestant.
James’ selection was a huge moment for those familiar with the ABC reality show, which centers on a group of women competing for the heart of one eligible bachelor — who, up until James, was always white. However, with the introduction of the real estate broker —who is also bi-racial but identifies as Black — it brought a twist of excitement and even the question of whether he’d pick a Black woman at the end of the competition.
However, during an interview with former and first Black “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay on the “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast, the reality star admitted to being “low-key frustrated” that race is even being presented in the discussion.
“First off, people should, regardless of what they look like, want you to be happy with whoever you’re with,” the 29-year-old said. “And if you knew anything about me, if you were close to me, you would know that the last women that I dated were all Black women.”
James also noted that he has dated women of various backgrounds and suggested that race should not be the determining factor when dating.
“When you’re dating somebody, if you’re excluding a race, then I don’t even know where to begin on that. What I’m looking for in a woman isn’t race-specific,” he added.
“What I’m looking for may upset somebody. What I’m looking for isn’t a race. I don’t only exclusively date Black women. I don’t only exclusively date white women. I’ve dated all across the board, and I’ve found redeeming qualities in everybody, which is a blessing, and that’s why it’s so difficult for me throughout this season.”
James’ frustration is understandable, as many viewers took to their social media platforms to voice their opinions when he was first announced as the newest bachelor. One Twitter user commented, “Ummm why are there so many …nvm let me mind my business.”
Another chimed in, saying, “White girls!? I wanna know too! This bachelor should have been 80%+ Black.”
A third person wrote, “Im gonna be rly annoyed this season of the Bachelor if Matt James only liked white girls..” They added, “no reason to have all these biracial leads aka diversity’ when they don’t even like black ppl anyways.”